Who doesn’t want to catch one of the world’s largest freshwater trout or to test their fishing skills against battle-hardened wild trout? I know I do! Having lived in the Reno Tahoe area for the past year and a half, it has become strikingly apparent how special and compelling the fishing is here. I have worked alongside the local angling and fly fishing community through my employment at Trout Unlimited, and through this I have fished the local waters extensively and have seen firsthand the amazing resource that local water sources provide us. You don’t have to travel to Montana or Colorado to catch quality fish, California and Nevada can rival either of these destinations. While it would be impossible to address all of the fishing opportunities, below are a few that are worth your exploration.
The Truckee River, a picturesque mountain river, gives you an opportunity to fish for wild trout. The assemblage of large, wary brown trout and feisty, colorful rainbow trout that inhabit the Truckee are worthy of your efforts. However, these fish do not come easily to the net; every angler that I know who fishes this river has an archive of stories of the big ones that got away. If this sounds intimidating, don’t worry! There are numerous guides and online fishing reports that can offer you invaluable knowledge and assistance to help you catch that fish of a lifetime. While fall is an ideal time to fish the Truckee River, plan ahead, practice good fish handling, and check regulations before heading to the river. I strongly recommend practicing catch and release as it is an unwritten rule by almost all local fishermen who wish to protect the quality of the angling experience. A valid California or Nevada fishing license is necessary to fish the Truckee River. A few access points on the Truckee River in California and Nevada include Floriston, Farad, Mogul, and Mayberry Park. The California access points are an easy 225-minute drive from downtown Reno.
For more information on Truckee River guided trips and fishing reports visit:
What is there to say about Pyramid Lake? Well, Pyramid is quickly becoming a mecca for anglers because of the possibility to catch gargantuan Lahontan cutthroat trout. Pyramid Lake attracts all types of fishermen, anywhere from the weekend warriors (myself), the out of state destination fishermen, and the rag tag group of passionate, the obsessive anglers that spend the fishing season bearing the unforgivable weather hunkered down in their trailers, campers, or tents, who live to rope in the behemoth trout that cruise the shores of the lake. Pyramid Lake truly is a special place, and Lahontan Cutthroat Trout are a thrilling fish to chase due to their aggressive grabs and willingness to take your fly or lure. A 20+ fish day on the lake is not uncommon. Pyramid Lake can be fished from the shore or from a boat with fly fishing gear or conventional gear. A Pyramid Lake fishing permit is required. A few of the go to “spots” include “North and South Nets”, “Blockhouse”, “Popcorn” and “Warrior Point.”
The fishing that exists in Reno Tahoe would not be as stellar without the angling community and organizations that work tirelessly to protect and conserve this resource. The non-profit that I work for, Trout Unlimited (TU), is one of these organizations. TU is proud of recent successes such as the Little Truckee Fish Habitat Improvement Project (video below), protecting the headwaters above Lake Tahoe, and numerous volunteer projects that directly benefit wild trout. TU is dedicated to implementing on-the-ground projects in the Truckee River watershed that improve fish habitat and fishing through science-driven restoration. With the trend of drought in the Sierras, TU has most recently been influential in providing recommendations that protect California’s interests under the Truckee River Operating Agreement (TROA), which is designed to increase operational flexibility of reservoirs in the Lake Tahoe and Truckee River Basins and provide multiple environmental benefits while protecting the exercise of existing water rights. Be certain that TU is working to conserve, protect and restore the wild trout waters of the Truckee River that attract so many passionate anglers around both states and improve our quality of life. Follow our TU Truckee Chapter at facebook.com/TruckeeTU
Cover photo credit: Paul Moinester